President's Message: Bargaining Update for 2/18/23
Dear Sisters and Brothers,
Your Executive Board has been in contract negotiations with the County of Los Angeles for more than a year. The County recently issued a “Last, Best, and Final Offer” and – on behalf of our Executive Board – I want to make the following perfectly clear:
Your Contract Rights are being threatened.
The County supports mandatory permanent involuntary transfers and field deployments to DSB.
The County wants to take away your contract protections on seniority, transfers, and promotions.
We are demanding:
Safe and secure juvenile halls;
An end to physical attacks on staff; and
Respect for employees performing dangerous Probation work.
Sisters and Brothers, this is a clear call to action – stay tuned for next steps in the upcoming days and weeks.
Tentative Agreement Articles
Nevertheless, we have made progress. Our Union has reached a tentative agreement with the County of Los Angeles on the following major bargaining issues:
County-wide Cost of Living Adjustments
$1,375 One Time Signing Bonus
Select Special Assignment Bonuses
Increase in Standby Pay from $3.50 to $5.00 per hour
Professionalizing Juvenile Halls – (establishing a career ladder in DSB)
Training and Wellness Provision (Training Fund $500,000)
Major Outstanding Bargaining Issues
Juvenile Hall Bonus – The County has announced the termination of economic incentives (20% base pay and double overtime) to stabilize Juvenile Hall critical staffing shortages. The termination is effective March 31, 2023. The County did not offer a replacement plan.
Local 685 proposed a permanent Juvenile Hall Work Location Assignment bonus to stabilize critical staffing needs and incent volunteers to help with operational needs. The County rejected the Union’s proposal.
SYTF Special One-Time Compensation Note (2 Year Commitment) – Local 685 proposed special compensation for a 2-year commitment to work with DJJ youth in a Secure Youth Treatment Facility (SYTF). The special one-time compensation proposed is $2,000 for the first month, and $1,000 for the second through the twenty-third months. The County rejected the Union’s proposal.
SYTF Special Assignment Bonus – The County rejected the Local 685 proposal for a special assignment bonus (16.50%) for staff permanently assigned to an SYTF facility by Probation management. This high risk challenged population requires employees with specialized skills and abilities to perform this assignment. The Chief Probation Officer would have discretion to select and train a special cadre of senior staff to work in a SYTF.
The County rejected the Union’s proposal and countered with an SYTF bonus of 5.5% for this high-risk assignment.
Reassignments and Promotions - The County is proposing sweeping changes to Article 16 (Reassignments and Promotions). These are major changes, removing your seniority, transfer, and promotion contract rights. The County proposes involuntary transfers and mandatory permanent deployment of Field Staff to address the staffing shortages in the Juvenile Halls.
The Union does not support the County’s position. Article 16 protects employees from unlawful discrimination in promotions, transfers, and seniority. Prior federal consent decrees and court actions were necessary to remedy the egregious violations against Local 685 members. The hiring freeze has crippled department operations, including 1,000 vacated positions that the County has not allowed the Department to fill.
Special Assignment Bonus - The Union proposed, and the Department supported, designated (*) special assignment bonuses for employees that are assigned to specialized functions and programs that have substantial community linkages and impact community public safety:
AB 109 Co-located Mutual Aid Probation Deputy*
Dorothy Kirby Center*
Developmentally Disabled (“DD at BJN and CJH)*
Sex Offender Caseloads (SRG)*
The County rejected the Union’s proposal for the above special assignments, which are filled largely by black and brown women that live and work in each Supervisorial District.
Special Provision on SYTF Youth – The realignment of DJJ youth from the State to the Los Angeles County Probation Department for rehabilitation includes major funding ($100 million) over successive fiscal years to offset Net County Cost. Local 685’s proposal provides for staffing levels and ratios consistent with BSCC Title 15 requirements. The Union proposal contains a reopener provision for the parties to continue to meet and confer on SYTF operational concerns. The County rejected this provision.
We will keep you informed as your Executive Board continues to negotiate on these outstanding issues. Your voice needs to be heard. Our next bargaining session with the County is on Monday, March 6, 2023.
Sincerely, Hans Liang President AFSCME Local 685